New Delhi: DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran on Monday took up cudgels on behalf of Tamil film actor Vijay who has been subjected to pointed scrutiny by the Income-Tax Department in recent days. Maran lashed out at the income-tax raids conducted against the actor while a superstar like Rajinikanth was given Rs 1 crore relief.
Addressing the house amid an uproar, Maran said: "Vijay was picked up from his shooting location in Tirunelveli for questioning, and the entire film schedule had to be cancelled, which has caused a huge loss to the makers of the movie."
The IT Department served summons on Vijay days after raiding his properties in connection with the declaration of profits of his last film Bigil which has reportedly grossed around Rs 300 crore worldwide. According to the news agency ANI, Vijay has been summoned over charges of tax evasion and his links with financier Anbu Chezhiyan, who is the producer of the film.
The tax authorities are sniffing for what it says are unaccounted transactions between Vijay and Anbu. Vijay has been asked to disclose the actual remuneration he received and the profit he earned from his last release.
Vijay's fans alleged that the government is targetting Vijay, who is said to be poised to make an entry into politics. On social media, fans of Vijay, nicknamed Thalapathy, were thrilled that Maran came out in support of their idol.
Maran's support for Vijay comes in the context of Vijay’s political ambitions and movies in the recent past being critical of the Centre. In Mersal and Sarkar Vijay played characters who hit out at the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, explicitly condemning demonetisation.
Interesting statement by DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran in Lok Sabha.— Shilpa Nair (@NairShilpa1308) February 10, 2020
Says because of elections next year, Rajinikanth gets relief of Rs 1 crore...But actor Vijay was picked up from shooting spot leading to losses.#DMK #Vijay #Rajinikanth #TNPolitics pic.twitter.com/40zIIuKYtn
The DMK MP also made a pointed reference in his speech in Parliament to the divergent treatment given to Sanskrit and Tamil. The Chennai Central MP triggered the ire of the treasury benches when he made some remarks about Sanskrit, which the chair expunged from the record.
Language is always a live political issue in Tamil Nadu, and Maran’s distinction between the treatment received by Tamil vis a vis Sanskrit would serve as a signal to the DMK’s core Dravidian constituency in the state.
"The government keeps quoting Thirukkural and talk about Tamil but it does not do anything for a classical language like Tamil and spends money on a **** language like Sanskrit," said Maran....